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Bearcats excited for Friday's season openers

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VESTAL, NY -

The college basketball season starts Friday and both the BU men and women's teams can't wait.  It's like Christmas morning for a basketball team.  The men host Morgan State at 7:00 Friday, the women travel to West Point to take on Army for a 7:00 tipoff.

For the men, this is the longest preseason they've had in Tommy Dempsey's tenure.  They took a preseason summer trip to Canada for a four game exhibition swing and have been together practicing pretty much ever since.  Dempsey says that as a result, this team is miles ahead of where they would be to this point in most other years, and that's reason to be optimistic for the season.  But there's still nothing like that excitement you get from having your home opener creep closer and closer.

"Even as we broke practice [Wednesday] morning there was this element of 'oh man, we have one more practice before we play.'  I think they're anxious," Dempsey says.  "I think they're prepared and ready.  For [Thursday's] practice for instance, I think it'll be short and sweet and I just think there's anxiety building towards the start of the season and I think it'll feel long between now and 7:00 Friday for the coaches and the players.  When that moment comes I feel like this group is ready."

For the women, there's a lot of reasons to be excited as well.  A lot of the roster returns this year and they're picked third in the conference preseason poll.  Come Friday, they're ready for the chance to come together and show off what they got.

"I think there's definitely a lot more excitement, especially now as we've come together more as a team," says Sophomore Guard Kai Moon.  "We're reading each other and getting to know each other better.  We're not just being robots, we're more out there, we're playing basketball.  We're being more comfortable I think.  The more we prepare for this team, the more comfortable we'll be."

"We have a veteran team coming back.  We've been building this program for the last four years and now we want to reap the benefits and see how good we are and how well we can play on the court," says Head Coach Linda Cimino.  "We've been preparing this whole preseason for this first game.  The first game of the season doesn't make or break your season but you are excited, you are eager, you're ready to go but so is your opponent."

The men host Morgan State Friday at 7:00, the women are on the road against Army also at 7:00.